Flyers Clip Caps 2-1 in Shoot-Out

Published on March 23rd, 2012

Bryz defending against the Caps | Source: Andrew King

by Mike del Tufo

Thursday March 22, 2012
On this night, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 in a shoot-out at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.  This was a crucial game for the Caps as their playoff hopes hang on every game from here on out.  They are currently the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

This was the 4th and final time these two teams played this season.  The Flyers had gone 2-1 in the 1st three.  For this game, Braden Holtby started in net for the Capitals and Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers. 

Flyers forward combinations:
Giroux-Jagr-Hartnell
Briere-Schenn-Simmonds
Couturier-Talbot-Voracek
Read-Rinaldo-Wellwood

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Carle-Timonen
Coburn-Grossman
Kubina-Lilja

Caps superstar Alexander Ovechkin struck quickly scoring 26 seconds into the game.  The Flyers seemed to be sleepwalking to start the game.  Bryzgalov played well after the Ovechkin goal to keep the Flyers in the game.  The Flyers’ offense came on later in the 1st period and controlled much of the play as the period expired.  They could not put the puck past Holtby however.  Caps led in shots 12-11 in this period and on the scoreboard 1-0.

Flyers forward Claude Giroux tied it at 6:05 of the 2nd period as Holtby swiped at a loose puck and missed.  Giroux then banged it into an empty net.  At 12:58 the Caps were awarded a penalty shot when Flyers defenseman Matt Carle took down Marcus Johansson.  Bryz denied Johansson.  The game was tied 1-1 at the end of two periods.

Both teams had few openings in the 3rd period as each played a more conservative style.  About midway through the period, Flyers Matt Read had a big open-ice hit on Johansson that ignited the crowd.  The teams went to overtime where no one was able to score which led to the shoot-out to finally decide a winner.

In the shoot-out, Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds scored to give the Flyers a 2-1 win in the shoot-out as well as the game.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette on the Bryzgalov’s strong game in net to lift the Flyers to the victory said, “I think Bryz has done a tremendous job for us and I think shootouts is a part of it.  It goes back to that Calgary game, I don’t know how long ago that was, 40 days or so, and he came up and we got big points out of there, and from there he seemed to really catch fire.  I think there is a tremendous amount of confidence right now in our goaltender.  When you have confidence, when your goaltender gives you that confidence, you feel like you can score goals, you feel like maybe you can take a few more chances.  And I feel like he’s played a great game, I think the shootout is an example that he made big saves.”

This game marked the sixth time this month that Ilya Bryzgalov has been named the #1 star of the game.  He now has a 9-1-1 record, a 1.27 GAA and a .956 save percentage in the month of March.

The Flyers next game is Saturday at home vs. the Montreal Canadiens.

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